We’ve got a live one this month. Live, in-person, outdoor theater that is, thanks to Society for the Performing Arts.
For some of our other favorite theater companies the drama, comedy, and music keeps on streaming on in March with lots of variety for the choosiest at-home audiences. As a bonus, look for some February postponed shows to spring up this month now that our long winter drama is over.
Dixie’s Happy Hour Virtual Show from the Hobby Center (now through March 7)
The Hobby Center might be closed to audiences for now, but that doesn’t mean frequent Hobby show-woman and Tupperware super-seller, Dixie, can’t throw a virtual party. For those who remember her tours to Houston, expect some of the same outrageous humor and party games. For those who want meet Dixie live but from the safety of your own home, now’s the chance.
Let’s be honest, sometimes Dixie scares us more than COVID does, so this might be the perfect way to bask in her loveliness without getting pulled onstage during a performance.
Sin Muros Festival from Stages (now through March 7)
Stages fourth annual Latinx Festival celebrating Texas playwrights and artists was pushed back a week because of the winter storm, so there’s still a chance to catch Zoom readings of four new plays. Look for Borderline by Andrew Siañez De La O, (trans)formada by Virginia Grise, talkbacks and the two special digital projects, Candice D’Meza’s world premiere Fatherland, and the offering for younger audiences Yana Wana's Legend of the Bluebonnet.
The fest schedule also features community talkbacks and the opening night event and Premio Puente award presentation.
The Man with the Flower in His Mouth from Alley Theatre (streaming now through March 21)
Alley artistic director, Rob Melrose, continues his quest to translate the classics while perhaps introducing them to some Houston audiences. This short play by Nobel Prize for literature winning playwright Luigi Pirandello tells the story of two strangers meeting at a train station in the middle of the night.
At first, their concerns seem the petty worries of the everyday, but as the two men get to know each other better, the subject turns to life, death, and the meaning of existence. See the play that inspired Edward Albee’s masterpiece The Zoo Story.
Songs for Murdered Sisters from Houston Grand Opera (steaming now through March 21)
One voice doesn’t get much more powerful than this. Canadian baritone and HGO Studio alumnus Joshua Hopkins real life changed forever when his sister Nathalie and two other women were murdered by her ex-boyfriend in a spree that is now considered one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Canadian history.
In his grief, Hopkins conceived of this song cycle, with music by Jake Heggie set to poems by Margaret Atwood. HGO and Canada's National Arts Centre co-commissioned this world premiere production that grapples with grief and tragedy.
Art Heist: A True Crime Walking Experience from Society for the Performing Arts (live March 9-28)
For those ready to see live, in-person theater again, SPA has the crime for you. This outdoor show gives the masked audience lots of space to move and distance from the performers as they try to solve this true whodunit puzzle: committed the great Boston art robbery that is.
The stage gets set at Wings Over Water sculpture at George R. Brown Convention Center and then the audience is off and crime solving in this new, interactive show.
Stages Studio Sessions (streaming now through March 12-April 18)
For six weeks see some of your favorite Stages artists and discover future favs as the company brings back its hit virtual cabaret show from last summer. The all new lineup features Jasminne and Lupe Mendez, Teresa Zimmermann, Muhammad F. Khaerisman and Pajama Sam, John Ryan Del Bosque, Anna Maria Morris, and Carolyn Johnson singing, storytelling, performing skits, and likely revealing quite a few surprises.
With the range and talents of this calibre of artists, expect a very different show each week.
Live from the Cullen with Jack Swanson from Houston Grand Opera (streaming from March 12)
While we miss hearing HGO’s array of opera greats in person, turning the Wortham Cullen Theatre into a broadcast theater has given Houston and worldwide opera lovers a feast for the ears every month.
In March, tune in for Jack Swanson a finalist in HGO’s 2016 Concert of Arias who also performed in HGO’s 60th-anniversary gala in 2015. Swanson had been set to appear in HGO’s now-canceled La Cenerentola in January 2021, but now we get an intimate audience with this rising operatic star.
Medea from Alley Theatre (streaming March 19 – April 11)
The whole Alley gang gets together (remotely) for one of theater’s greatest dramas. Sexual jealousy, betrayal, revenge, and murder! Even streaming, Euripides’s mother of an ancient tale can still bring audiences an emotional catharsis. Elizabeth Bunch plays the OG woman who would not be ignored.
Some of these streaming shows are free and others ticketed, but many performing arts organizations have been offering free performances and entertainment since having to close last year, so please remember to give back as they continue to give to Houston.